Press events do more than create positive publicity soon afterwards – by strengthening media relations, they also make good publicity more attainable in the future. A well-conceived media event should lead to many pages of press coverage with a value far greater than the cost.
Successful media events include the promise of a worthwhile story for journalists, supported by written information and photos they can reproduce; access to key people who have been briefed beforehand; an element of enjoyment to appeal to guests accustomed to VIP treatment, and a venue or theme that demonstrates or echoes the key PR messages.
Organising and managing a media event can be a daunting prospect for companies, especially if they’re not used to contacting journalists or are unfamiliar with the process of planning an event.
At PRG we’ve been planning and managing events for clients for over 30 years, so we know the ingredients that go into making a successful media event and the importance of working around a central theme.
A few of our more recent press events for clients have included:
HVCA Business Plus (theme: “I didn’t know you could do that”) – We took journalists on a train to Milton Keynes where the HVCA chief executive gave a speech in a private room with an indoor snowslope backdrop, indoor skydiving experience for journalists and a three-course lunch. Following the event we sent journalists a DVD film of them skydiving.
The media event resulted in key trade magazines humorously repeating the campaign’s catchphrase and generated press coverage in 11 publications with a media value of £28,257 – a return of 7.3:1 on the client’s investment.
Fire Protection Ltd (theme: protecting Britain’s best) – We gave journalists a factory tour and kiln test demonstration in Harlow, followed by a flight in a vintage biplane from Duxford to London, looking at the client’s landmark building projects. To help journalists identify the buildings, we designed and printed a fold-out London map showing all the building project locations, which the client used after the event in other marketing activities.
The press event cost our client £5,750 in total, including agency fees, but generated press coverage in trade magazines received by 91,400 readers with a value of £29,450 – a return on investment of 5.1:1.
Ideal Commercial Heating (theme: a modern company, heat) – To launch a new boiler range to the trade press we took journalists to lunch in a contemporary Indian restaurant in Mayfair and organised a kitchen masterclass by TV chef Atul Kochhar. We gave journalists a goody bag containing a book signed by Atul and some chilli truffles as a momento of the launch.
As a result of the media event, we secured press coverage on the new boiler range in 10 key trade magazines and three more detailed features.
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